Saturday, October 1, 2016

Kim English workshop, Day 3

The group in downtown Gloucester MA
Mary Pyche and Judith Meagher
Kim English painting downtown Gloucester MA
We met downtown Gloucester as previously agreed and set out towards the streets away from the waterfront to paint a street scene. Kim sets up in no time flat and begins to paint.  We all gather around for the first 1/2 hour or so and he is almost finished. It is a cloudy day with intermittent sprinkles and high winds, feels like near freezing, my hands were numb and I was keeping them in my pockets.  I had a hat and a fuzzy hood on and was not inspired or motivated to paint.  A few dedicated souls found some somewhat sheltered spots and painted but I roamed around taking pictures that would have been better if I had my camera with a zoom lens instead of the phone and had a bit of sun shine. 
A couple of nice and crazy guys came around who were from the Good Morning Gloucester Gazette and took some pictures of us.  At noon we met to figure out where to go next.  Imagine a dozen people without a plan, nor any idea of the area for the most part, trying to figure out what to do next. After my lunch of chicken wings, we headed to the public parking lot at Rocky Neck and we then went to the far end where they repair boats. 
Kim set up and painted his third painting of the day and since most of us were happy to watch and learn, we huddled around him.  I roamed around some more taking photos and ended up at Judy Meagher's Gallery for some welcome shelter. 
From there we went to the group dinner at the Azorean, a nice Portuguese restaurant, where Kim ate octopus. I enjoyed our dinner conversation, it kind of worked out that 5 on one end were in a conversation and so were the other five, a couple didn't come.  It was a pleasant dinner and we are to meet at the studio tomorrow morning and probably go out again under the same weather conditions, and Friday we'd get another model.  
When I got back to my cozy Airbnb, I realized that I had almost a flat tire. My hostess will call in the morning to see if her local garage guy is there and I'll get it fixed. You go years without a flat tire but I've had three this past year.

Summary: Kim masses in his shapes with approximate colors and then refines his shapes and colors without getting picky.  He takes care to always clean his brush with every stroke--load and unload. He uses a big brush and a support that is about 10x14".
It was suggested that we buy 10-15 8x10"s and 10-15 9x12"s.  So I bought 10 of each size.  Usually on workshops I get what is suggested and only use a small fraction of the supports.  Well, we did close to 30 the first day and 25 the next day and if the weather had cooperated probably 2 in the morning and 2 in the afternoon each plein air day and then there is one more day. The idea of this workshop is to learn, not to bring home a finished painting, which is all well and good. Other people have blogged about having good quality boards and wiping them off, which is what I did, but some people in this group used the cheap boards or canvas pads and the wipe offs went fine on those as well.  Any that I kept I will eventually paint over as the paint is thin and they cost about $5 each.  Truthfully 60 paintings for this workshop is about right depending on what we do on the last day.
Judith's Movali painting!

Kim's downtown Gloucester street scene painting.

Kim English at Rocky Neck, Gloucester.

Kim's painting at Rocky Neck
The class observing Kim painting.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Kim English workshop, day 1

Everyone arrived by the appointed time and were shown around.  The space which is a unit in an industrial park is excellent.  We are painting the clothed model all day.  We set up arranging ourselves in a big semicircle with the model against the wall.  Kim did a quick lesson on proportion and discussed his pallet, and talked about gesture.

As is usually the case, workshop leaders give you a list of what to bring and after you go to great lengths to find the surfaces and colors, they usually then say substitutions are fine.  Anyway he explained why he had his pallet arranged his way and how he mixed his colors and I liked it.  He tries to keep the mixtures of all his dark tones on the left side and lights on the right.  I've tried to do this before and it makes things easier to find.  We had the most amazing model, as good as those at the Art Students League.  We did 2-3 and five-minute poses and did 21 by lunch break.  We did slightly longer poses after lunch but not so many.  Some people in the group did very good work and photographed each pose so they could work on them later.  We were informed that tipping the model when you took photos was customary.  Kim circulated and made quick comments to everyone.  My plan was to wipe each one and reuse the same panel.  One pose was so tricky I took her photo to try it again. There were only 4 that I kept.  Kim had arranged the light in some spectacular ways to light the model in a dramatic way or for great shadows and colors.  We are able to work 24 hrs here and leave our stuff. 

Tomorrow will be more of the same and if we have good weather later in the week we'll do plein air. 

After class, I ate downtown Gloucester, baked cod, not very good, what a surprise.  Then to the grocery store for sandwiches and snacks for the week and found my Airbnb, a nice quiet home, great bed.  The weather has turned the corner from summer to fall.
Kim's palette

Not my paintings, Jude or Judith's?

Kim's painting.

Kim's painting.